Friday, March 6, 2009

Firsts in Snow Sports

Day 2 in Alaska: Awesome, serene, natural beauty and lots of fun can only begin to describe my day. I decided (along with the help and guidance of some friends and coworkers) that there was no way I could come to Alaska and not go dog sledding, especially since I was coming for the Iditarod Race. So, that's exactly what I did. There were a few other things I did first though. It was the perfect day to enjoy the Alaskan outdoors. I experienced many firsts including snowshoeing to mine for gold. Now, you may ask did I actually find anything? Thanks to my guide who made sure we went to a 'guaranteed' spot, little specks began to appear as I went through the two step process: shake and swirl. We snowshoed through more snow than I've ever seen accumulated and the scene was complemented by falling soft snow.

My next first was something I wasn't so sure about. I'm not a skier but it involved getting back onto skis and testing my balance. Fortunately cross-country skiing isn't as bad as I thought! Once I hit my stride, I was glad I didn't let my inability to downhill ski prevent me from trying this. We pulled into a clearing after trekking through the forest and the quiet snow made me so aware of nature and my surroundings. With no one around it appeared so untouched even as we crossed over other ski and dog sled tracks.

My final snow sport first was dog sledding! It was quite an experience and totally worth it. After being introduced to the dogs, Wisk and Tide were in the lead (yes, named after laundry detergents), we rode to the kennel. The dogs are amazing. They each have a very distinct personality and play around from time to time, but Sarge, the wheel dog, kept to the track and her job of pulling the sled. The gentle sound of whooshing was the only noise as we followed the trail. As we pulled out of the kennel, the dogs getting ready to run started showing off to the dogs staying behind who responded with jealous chatter. The whole day was a highlight. It was a perfect opportunity to get out and see Alaskan nature at its winter finest.


Erin said...

oh my goodness! that sounds awesome! i heard you were going cross-country skiing and i was curious as to how that would turn out. haha. but just an update for's 58 degrees in iowa and 66 in peoria. i heard it was a little chilly in alaska. :) i'm just jokes. :)

Mom and Dad said...

Hi Alyssa,

Why is it that we are having a hard time believing you are enjoying all this snow and cold??? hehehehe

Everything looks so beautiful and majestic. It seems quiet and nice to be away from the city noise and hubbub. Must be why people come to visit!

Can't wait to read about the race and the rest of your adventures. Keep us posted. Love ya,